DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Talismanic West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, as well as West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor and her teammate, Deandra Dottin, has been nominated for ICC Awards of the Decade.
The Awards of the Decade, a special edition of the ICC annual awards, will celebrate and reward top performances in the sport from January 1, 2011 to October 7 this year from both the men’s and women’s game.
The ICC, the sport’s World governing body, said in a media release that the nominees for each of the categories have been determined by an awards nominations committee, according to on-field performances and overall achievements for at least five years during the period under review.
Former West Indies fast bowler and TV commentator, Ian Bishop, a member of the committee, said it was tough shortlisting the candidates for the awards.
“It is extremely challenging to shortlist any group of excellent players over an extended period,” he said.
“In making these choices we have tried to put context to performances, even as the different formats have evolved in pace and style in a 10-year period.”
Bishop said: “Some of your favourite names may have missed out, but not gone without recognition.
“We hope that this is seen as an opportunity to discuss, celebrate and rejoice in the many great players who have entertained us on the field in the last decade.”
Gayle, the self-proclaimed “Universe Boss”, no doubt, has been nominated for the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade. It is a recognition of the best overall performer in the men’s T20I format during the performance period.
He is challenged in the category by Australia opener Aaron Finch, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, India batting machine Virat Kohli, Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga, India opener Rohit Sharma and retired South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Gayle, 41, has built a reputation around the World for being the most destructive batsman in the format and now holds the record for the most sixes in the T20 format overall.
He played in the Indian Premier League, which ended earlier this month in the United Arab Emirates, turning up for Kings XI Punjab, where he was not a regular starter, but still prove he was capable of extraordinary hitting.
Taylor, the Windies Women’s captain for the past four years, has been nominated for the prestigious Rachel Heyhoe-Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Decade, which recognises the best overall performer in women’s international cricket – across all formats – Tests, One-day Internationals and T20Is – during the performance period.
Taylor, 29, has played 126 ODIs and 108 T20Is for Windies Women, since making her international debut at the age of 17 in June 2008.
Her 4,754 runs at an average of 44.01 in ODIs and 3,062 at an average of 36.02 in T20Is are the most by a West Indies Women’s batter in the sport.
She has also taken 142 ODI wickets – the second highest for Windies Women, nine behind fellow off-spinner Anisa Mohammed – at an average of 21.35 each and 94 T20I wickets – 26 fewer than Mohammed – at an average of 16.88 apiece.
Taylor may, however, lose out on the award because unlike all of her challengers, she has never been able to fulfil her long-cherished dream of playing a Women’s Test due to Cricket West Indies’ failure to make this format a priority for its women’s players.
The other players nominated in the category are former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates, Australia captain Meg Lanning, her teammate Ellyse Perry, former India captain Mithali Raj and England batting star Sarah Taylor.
Dottin, a cousin of former West Indies pacer and head coach, Ottis Gibson, has been nominated for the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade, which recognises the best overall performer in women’s T20Is during the performance period.
Dottin, also 29, has played 117 ODIs and 118 T20Is – the third highest overall – for Windies Women, since she also made her international debut at the age of 17 in June 2008.
She has scored 2,833 runs at an average of 28.33 in ODIs and 2,565 runs at an average of 26.44 in T20Is.
Her aggressive batting style has often been compared to Gayle’s and has earned the title of “World Boss” from her peers.
Her maiden T20I hundred of 112 not out against South Africa Women in the opening match of ICC Women’s World T20 2010 West Indies at Warner Park in St. Kitts was the first by a woman in the sport.
Coming into bat at six, Dottin reached the milestone in 38 balls, which still remains the record for the fastest T20I hundred by either a man or woman.
The ICC said for the first time the fans’ voice will be heard in selecting the winners across categories, including the Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Decade.
The fan vote, the ICC said, will make up 10 percent of the voting, while votes from an expert panel will make up the remaining 90 percent.
Award winners will be announced next month and will culminate in a special ICC Awards of the Decade digital show, to be broadcast on the ICC’s digital channels and will take into account the fans’ votes, as well as those by a global panel of journalists and broadcasters. (CMC)